Casino Gambling in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Casino Guide

Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Wisconsin

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of tribal casinos in Wisconsin. While the state doesn’t seem too receptive to online casinos, there are close to two dozen Wisconsin casinos, as well as race tracks and bingo halls. The future is bright for anyone looking to gamble in Wisconsin.

History of Gambling in Wisconsin

It’s been more than 15 decades since gambling became part of Wisconsin’s history. In the very early stages, the state banned any form of gaming. It’s almost surprising that any change was made given the wording of the Wisconsin Constitution that clearly states the legislature could “never authorize any lottery.” In 1965, the first big change occurred when voters opted to allow sweepstakes and promotions. Charity bingo games were added in 1973 and raffled followed four years later.

The next huge step came in 1987 when both the state lottery and pari-mutuel betting (greyhounds, horses, and even snowmobiles) were legalized. Tribal casinos followed hot on the heels of legalized lotteries and bets, and after a 1993 amendment 16 tribal casinos opened. One more gambling option would go up for vote, but this one was defeated, so a sports lottery to help fund a new stadium for the Milwaukee Brewers was shot down in 1996.

The Wisconsin Act 9 established in 1999, would lead to confusion. The new law made it legal for a bar to have no more than five video gambling machines. At the same time, however, it did nothing to alter the law stating that people who were gambling on a video machine not located in a tribal casino were doing so illegally and could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Age Restrictions for Gambling in Wisconsin

Players coming to Wisconsin casinos are really in luck when it comes to the age restrictions. Like much of the United States, Wisconsin’s drinking age is 21. However, many of the tribal casinos allow men and women 18 or older to enter the casino floor and play any of the table games, slot machines, or video poker games.

Wisconsin’s Casino Gambling Outlook

In 1993, the state discussed the potential for non-tribal casinos, but it was decided against. Three main amendments make the future of Wisconsin casinos and gambling clear. The first would have allowed casinos on cruise boats within Wisconsin. The second would have allowed video gambling machines at establishments that are not tribally owned. Finally, a measure to restrict the number of casinos in Wisconsin passed, though it was later declared moot.

Online casinos in Wisconsin are unlikely to happen any time soon. In fact, the state’s attorney general has asked the federal government to ban online gambling completely. He’s also filed legal suits against online casinos. Among the reasoning for the potential ban is the ease at which children could illegally gain access and that it might lead to “an increase in social problems.”

Local Casinos

At the time of this writing, there are 20 legal casinos in Wisconsin. They are:

Bad River Casino
Grindstone Creek Casino
Ho-Chunk Black River Falls Casino
Ho-Chunk Madison Casino
Ho-Chunk Nekoosa
Ho-Chunk Tomah
Ho-Chunk Wisconsin Dells
Ho-Chunk Wittenberg
Lake of the Torches Casino
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino
LCO Casino Lodge & Convention Center
Menominee Casino Resort
Mole Lake Casino Lodge
North Star Mohican Casino Resort
Oneida Bingo and Casino
Potawatomi Bingo Casino
Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel
St. Croix Casino Danbury
St. Croix Casino Hertel Express
St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake